Bhuta Kola ritual performances: Locating aesthetics in collective memory and shared experience

Meera Baindur, H. M. Tapaswi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Drawing from the study of a ritual in South India called bhuta kola, we explicate the possible theoretical conceptualizations that can explain the aesthetic movement from the individual to the collective universal. The multi-layered nature of a socio-religious ritual performance lends itself to two main conceptual frameworks. The first is the aesthetic criterion of order and place that is embedded in the collective memory of the audience. The second is the experience of shared aesthetics among community members who are immersed in the performance. The theory of Rasa in Indian traditions of thought affords itself to the explanation of such a cognitive movement during ritual performance that is co-constituted by socio-religious symbolism as well as an aesthetic display.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-415
Number of pages21
JournalAsian Theatre Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2019
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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